Mars! Earthlings Welcome

Holt. (Our Universe: Bk. 5). Feb. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250256881.
K-Gr 4–Ink and watercolor illustrations combine with a first-person narrative in this picture book centered on Mars. Readers learn that Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, the second smallest in the solar system, and is “rocky” and “rugged.” Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, and the tallest volcano in the solar system. Older readers will enjoy the personification of the planet and the humorous narrative. For instance, Mars claims to be like Earth—only better—because the Red Planet has a longer day than Earth by 37 minutes. The text also discusses the probes and rovers sent from Earth. Of course, visitors should remember to bring their own oxygen. Back matter includes information on Mars exploration to date, a comparison of Earth and Mars, and a note to “Potential Mars Visitors.”
VERDICT A humorous approach to planetary facts for the elementary grades.

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